After playing six of their first eight games on Mellon Arena ice, the Pittsburgh Penguins will have to get used to some unfriendly confines.
The team embarks on its longest road trip of the year when the squad visits Philadelphia on Saturday at 7 p.m.
The CW (formerly UPN) will televise the contest at 7 p.m., while 105.9 The X will start its radio broadcast with a pregame show at 6:30 p.m. The broadcast may be found live through streaming audio on pittsburghpenguins.com as well. Tune in for Penguins Hotline following every game on 105.9 The X and the Penguins Radio Network. Join in the conversation with host Bob Grove by calling the Penn Telecom toll-free line at 1-866-922-2874.
The game against the Flyers is the first of a season-long, four-game road swing for the Penguins. The team returns to Pittsburgh following Saturday’s game, but leaves Tuesday for a West Coast trip featuring games in Los Angeles, San Jose and Anaheim.
The only other time the Penguins are on the road for more than two consecutive games is a three-contest voyage in late March to Washington, Boston and Toronto.
The Flyers (2-6-1) will have a different look than the team the Penguins (5-3) shut out at Mellon Arena, 4-0, on Oct. 5. John Stevens took over behind the Philadelphia bench as head coach this week, replacing Ken Hitchcock.
“Most of the time there is a coaching change, there are some players who get a different opportunity to play. Stevens coached the young players with the Phantoms and he knows what they’re capable of doing,” Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. “I am sure he is going to give a lot of responsibility to the young players. For the young guys, it’s a great opportunity. The expectations are still high for the Flyers.”
Meanwhile, the Penguins are rolling with wins in their last three games.
“We are starting to build something pretty good with our club. There’s no doubt we want to keep going the same direction,” Therrien said. “We’re playing really well and building confidence and we’re tough to play against. The work ethic is there and I like the atmosphere of our team. It should be a good game.”
Penguins rookie Evgeni Malkin has a goal in his first four NHL games. That makes him the first Penguins rookie to achieve that feat. The last NHL player to score in his first four games was the Rangers’ Steven King in 1992.
He is not the only Penguins player who is red-hot. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who gets the start once again Saturday, is 5-3 with a 2.65 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage.